Horse Injured at Santa Anita is Euthanized

ARCADIA (CNS) - A horse injured while galloping at Santa Anita Racetrack suffered a shoulder injury and was later euthanized, officials said today, bringing the number of horse fatalities associated with the Arcadia track this season to 27.

River Derby, an unraced 2-year-old colt, suffered the injury during a gallop at Santa Anita on Wednesday. Track spokesman Mike Willman said the horse was initially examined at Santa Anita but the shoulder injury was not diagnosed until it was taken to Chino Valley Equine Hospital, where it was euthanized.

The horse's trainer, Ruben Gomez, told the Los Angeles Times the fractured shoulder ``can be a common injury in babies. He just came up from Florida.''

``I am so sad,'' Gomez told the paper. ``I ride my horses every day and I get so attached to them, especially my babies.''

The last horse death at Santa Anita had been on May 26 when Kochees, a 9-year-old gelding, was put down a day after suffering a leg injury during a race. Kochees was the third horse to die at the track within nine days, following a roughly six-week span with no deaths.

The number of deaths at the track have prompted calls from animal- advocacy groups and some politicians for a halt in racing at Santa Anita.

Racing was halted at the track for most of March while examinations were conducted on the track.

In early April, Santa Anita officials announced a series of new measures to help bolster the safety of horses at the track, including restrictions on certain medications, requiring trainers to get permission in advance before putting a horse through a workout and investing in diagnostic equipment to aid in the early detection of pre-existing conditions.

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